Step-up or step-down….?

by Rod Smith

Thank God for step-down transformers.

These are the men and women who live and work around us who have sufficient sense of self so that every issue that comes their way is not exaggerated.

They are able to self-regulate and therefore they are able to let the anxiety of an unanticipated event or of a sequence of unwanted occurrences hit them and when it does, the anxiety is significantly reduced, even contained, so that it goes no further. Step-down people are not afraid of necessary conflict. When it occurs they do not personalize it. They regard conflict as an inevitable product of groups of people being together or trying to do anything together. Step-downs turn mountains into molehills.

Step-up transformers are another kettle of fish.

These men and women are so rattled by the unexpected that it unseats them. Because it is too much for them to handle, they spread the anxious virus so it can take down as many like-minded people as possible. They leak. They amplify the smallest problems so every difficultly is proof the world is ending. Step-up transformers appear to have little sense of self. Any smidgeon of a sense of self they do possess is found in the uncanny ability to turn a molehill into a mountain.

(I am forever grateful to Rabi Ed Friedman for this helpful metaphor)

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